"Better done than perfect!"
It's one of our new mottoes around here, and it was heard numerous times yesterday.
I always thought I'd be one of those moms who did up every little holiday in a big way.
Then our life went crazy, and I did well for many years to make sure the Christmas tree was up and decorated by Christmas (which is actually a bit misleading, because for the last I'm-not-sure-how-many-years, Billy and the kids have taken the lead on that particular project) and that everyone had birthday presents and their favorite meal on their special day. I've managed to make sure that the kids' have Easter treats every year (even the year that that involved my long-suffering friend Jodie taking me to Wal-Mart to buy cheesy pre-made Easter baskets on Saturday night as I rode in a motorized cart rather than hopping through the store on crutches to avoid putting weight on the ankle I'd broken earlier in the week...), and we almost-always get in a DIY Christmas photo shoot (even if I never manage to get cards made).
I've had great intentions, but for all kinds of reasons, they too often remain exactly that...intentions.
(Please note that I'm not talking about missing the true meaning of the seasons...that's one thing we've put a priority on over the years, and for that I'm thankful! We even usually manage to get in some good stuff about the historical significance of "lesser" holidays. We just struggle with some of the extras I always wanted and planned to include. :))
I know we've made a lot of good memories along the way, and we have our own, sometimes rather odd, traditions. But the older my kids get the more determined I am to make more of those intentions into reality.
Which was why I got up in a bit of a funk yesterday morning realizing that Valentine's Day had dawned and I simply wasn't ready.
While other moms were up creating super-special pink and red Valentine breakfasts, I was struggling to get up and moving due to pain issues, looking at the small pile of not-yet-put-together Valentine goodie bag ingredients in the corner of my bedroom, and despairing that not one of the Valentine craft/decorating projects we'd planned in anticipation of the day had actually come to be.
Although this year I had actually made progress toward getting things done ahead of time, the weather, calendar, and health issues had tripped me up again. As I put my slippers on and limped into the dining room to start the day, I contemplated how easy it would be to give up, go back to bed, and concede defeat.
Instead, I breathed a prayer that God would make of our day what He wanted it to be, that He would give me wisdom, energy and strength to do what I needed to do to make the day special for our family, and that He would help me to focus on Him as the true source of love, rather than my feelings of failure.
I sat at my desk and began to plan. No, I wouldn't have a cute pink-and-red Valentine breakfast ready when the kids got out of bed, and no, their Valentine treats wouldn't be waiting on the table first thing in the morning, and no, the house hadn't been decorated with hearts all week...but we would celebrate regardless!
We would work on a couple of crafty/decorating projects together, and enjoy them for the next few weeks instead of the previous few. We would make Valentine's cookies, and we would have a special Valentine's dinner/party, by which time I would have everyone's goodie bags ready to go.
It still didn't all go as planned, and we had to flex a bit in several places, but by dinner time, we'd finished a couple of crafty/decor projects, the goodie bags were ready, and we had yummy White Cheese Chicken Enchiladas for our special Valentine meal. (In the interest of transparency, I should probably point out that we didn't get the cookies made, but those will be a fun treat for another day.)
None of it was perfect...but it was done! And...we'd made some fun and special memories.
Life is just not perfect, and around here it's usually just plain crazy. I'm one of those who struggles sometimes with feeling that if it can't be perfect, why do it at all? God has spent the last ten years working on me in that. We aren't perfect, the world around us is not perfect, and sometimes we just need to let go of our expectations and be content with the place in which God has put us.
The key, as He keeps reminding me, is to focus on Him and not my feelings of failure, to give it to Him and let His strength work in my weakness...even in "trivial" things like Valentine's Day plans. He can redeem our weaknesses and failures and turn them into something beautiful!
(Even the pictures that I tried to get to document our day weren't perfect. The lighting in our living room wouldn't allow me to get a decent photo of our Valentine garland, and the glare on the glass in the front door made getting a photo of our wreath next to impossible. Finally I took it all out in the backyard to try to get some shots...but the wind was blowing like crazy, so that was a challenge, too. I finally had to say, "Better done than perfect!" about those as well, and head in to finish supper. :) )
Are you a perfectionist? Do you struggle with unfinished (or unstarted?) projects? Be encouraged, and remember with me that "Done is Better Than Perfect"! Join with me in jumping in to finish some of those unfinished/intended-but-not-started projects this year. Do you have a "Better Done Than Perfect" story of your own? Please share with us in the comments!
Welcome to Ponderings of an Elect Exile! Whether you are new here or a faithful friend and regular reader, I'm glad you're here! If you aren't already following, I'd love to have you join us for the 2014 Ponderings. It's easy to do, in a variety of ways! You can follow via Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest, or find me on Instagram as Jenbh68. You can also sign up in the sidebar to receive new posts by email. (And if you really want to make my day, leave me a comment below, or drop me a note via the email box in the sidebar. :))